(born 12 August 1928)Charles Blackman is one of the best known Australian artists still living today, especially for the famous Schoolgirl and Alice in Wonderland series of the 1950s. He was a member of the Antipodeans, a group of Melbourne painters that also included Arthur Boyd, David Boyd, John Brack, Robert Dickerson, John Perceval & Clifton Pugh.
Blackman was born in Sydney on 12th August 1928. He left school at 13 and worked as an illustrator with the Sydney Sun newspaper while attending classes at East Sydney Technical College (1943-46). He moved to Melbourne in mid 1940s where he became friend with Joy Hester, John Perceval & Laurence Hope. His early work with "Schoolgirl" & "Alice" series met with critical acclaim. While painting the "Alice" series Blackman worked as a cook at a cafe run by art dealers George Mora & his wife Mirka Mora. In 1960 he moved to London only to return to Syndey 6 years later. In 1970 he moved to Paris and subsequently returned numerous times throughout his life to find inspiration. He has won many prizes and distinctions, culminating in a major retrospective in 1993 and an OBE for services to Australian art in 1977.After years of alcohol abuse, Blackman now suffers from Korsakoff's syndrome, a brain disorder affecting memory. After suffering a stroke and heart attack in 1994, Blackman has subsequently been under full-time care.
Blackman has repeatedly expressed disdain for the concept of making money from or maintaining exclusive ownership of his paintings. His accountant and close friend, Tom Lowenstein, set up the Charles Blackman Trust to manage the painter's affairs. Lowenstein periodically sells off the works that Blackman still owns to ensure Blackman's expenses are taken care of. Blackman lives a simple but happy life in his rented home in Sydney. He meets with friends and fellow artists Judy Cassab and Marina Finlay twice a month to draw and have "passionate discussions" about art.In August 2010, The Blackman Hotel opened in St Kilda Road, Melbourne. It features 670 digitally reproduced fine art prints by Charles Blackman.